DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
2011
Oct
5
 
 
It's creepy, it's trampy, it's campy, it's all over the place. FX's American Horror Story certainly qualifies as the damnedest new series of the fall season. But is it damnable, too? Are its two lead producers, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, brilliant in their abilities to fashion an adrenaline-pumping, commercially sponsored TV show that manages to get away with murder in virtually every way, shape or form?
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
4
 
 
When George Harrison passed away in 2001, Brian Wilson, founder of The Beach Boys wrote: "I am horribly saddened by the death of George Harrison. While we were not personal friends, I think that just like everybody in the world, I have always considered all the Beatles to be my friends." And that's the thing about Harrison and the group: they were so much a part of our world for so long, they were like family...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
4
 
 
One of the very first images in director Martin Scorsese's fab four-hour HBO documentary biography, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, shows the former Beatle playing hide-and-seek with the camera, partly obscured by a bunch of colorful tulips. By the next time we see that same image, near the end of the two-part program, it's saturated not only with color, but with meaning...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
4
 
 
So much news today about this starting-to-shake-out fall TV season. First up: NBC's The "Playboy Club" becomes 2011-12's first network TV cancellation, getting the ax Tuesday after three dismally rated Monday night outings. At the same time, NBC gave full-season pickups to two new comedies -- "Up All Night" and "Whitney" (Thursday's live-audience lead-out from The Office). NBC has been promoting the heck out of these two during Sunday night football and other popular offerings...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
3
 
 
People often ask, "What's your favorite all-time TV show?" I never hesitate to answer: "The Dick Van Dyke Show". Sure, part of it is nostalgia. I grew up with the black-and-white CBS comedy, which premiered 50 years ago on Oct. 3, 1961. It was very much rooted in the Kennedy era, with the pilot having been shot the same day that John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, Jan. 20, 1961...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
2
 
 
Two months ago, while on the Television Critics Association press tour, I wrote about the then-upcoming documentary series Prohibition, co-directed for PBS by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick...However, I saved a fuller review of the show, and excerpts from a private chat with Burns and Novick before their TCA press conference, until now...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
1
 
 
HBO's Boardwalk Empire is, of course, a visual triumph, with the art direction up front and center as a major character in the series. Wardrobe, interiors, automobiles and product design are done with so much attention to detail, we can palpably sense the time and day of Atlantic City...Turns out, the new Ken Burns documentary for PBS, Prohibition, confirms all that mayhem and corruption...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
1
 
 
Maybe you've heard the story about a rambunctious baby boy who fell down an entire flight of stairs and popped right back up unharmed. "That's a buster!" exclaimed a nearby observer. And little Joe was thereafter called Buster -- as in Keaton. Those nimble acrobatics are on wondrous display on Turner Classic Movies all throughout October, along with grown-up Buster's great stone face and gravelly voice...
 
 
 
  
 
 
2011
Oct
1
 
 
This fall TV season has been particularly disillusioning. Could every single show I watched be as bad as it seemed? Second viewings of almost everything told the sad truth. Other than a few shows, there was nothing that was must-see...Which is why it was a happy accident that I recently watched previews of "American Horror Story," and "Homeland"...